Men's Testimony By the age of twelve I observed
that alcohol and marijuana brought laughter and minimal rules; while Church
brought many seemingly illogical and legalistic rules. I learned through the
divorce of my parents, that when life got tough you simply give up and walk
away. I was exposed to deviant sexual sin through hidden magazines found at
many of the homes of my extended family. Those early exposures to the lies of Satan
led to 15 years of alcoholism and sexual sin which nearly ruined my life, job, and
I was incorrigibly humorous
around those who had little to do with God’s calling, yet when I was around
Christians I was an angel. I was putting into practice the art of “changing
masks.” At the age of 16, I was sick of the double life I was leading. Moving 3-hours
away to attend college on an “accelerated & gifted” scholarship I’d been awarded,
was my way of running from my sinful behavior. I truly thought that attending a
Christian college would rid me of my past and allow me to live the life I desired
in Christ. Sadly, without any real efforts at change, I was sinning sexually within
the first week. I was feeding my fleshly desires and doing nothing to feed my spiritual
appetite. With no real accountability, I stopped going to church, stopped reading
my bible, and plunged head-long into the cesspool of my sins.
Over the next three years I
managed to obtain my degree in Respiratory Therapy and found a great job. Along
the way I met and married my wife and we began to build our family. I became an
expert in my mind at wearing the right mask at the right time, all the while
believing that nobody knew about the other aspects of my life. Satan had me right
where he wanted me. Deception was my greatest ally; one mask for work, another
for home, and another for my “free time.” Over time, these three worlds began to
collide and the ability to change my mask became more difficult. Being drunk at
work, failing to come home on time, and wrecking my vehicles should have
awakened my senses. They did not.
I asked my wife for a divorce
after deciding that I’d be better off with my party friends than my family. We
had a two-year-old daughter at the time and I was so deep in my denial that I
didn’t care if I only got to visit with her on weekends. My lawyer suggested
that I make some “good faith” gestures to gain good will with the judge. That advice
led me to join my wife and daughter at a local church they had started attending.
At Eastridge Church of Christ I found a loving family of believers who also struggled
with sin in their lives. The preacher gave me his cell number and encouraged me
to call him any time. Little did I know at the time, but God was working a
miracle in my life.
My sobriety began in the parking
lot of a Dallas strip-club. I was staring at the credit card receipt of a
$1,200.00 bar tab for which I had no idea how to hide from my wife. I prayed to
God and asked Him to remove this addiction to alcohol and allow me to begin
restoring my marriage. I am very happy to say that God did perform a miracle that
night! Six days before our divorce would be final, I called my wife and asked
if we could put the divorce on hold while we worked things out.
My life of denial and minimal
accountability was finally starting to unravel. Amazingly, God was re-weaving
the fabric of my life into a wonderful tapestry of fatherhood, husbandry, and
Christianity. I was introduced to the ministry of Celebrate Recovery after
nearly 12 years of sobriety from alcohol. However, I still struggled with
sexual sin and was addicted to online material and my own self-satisfying
behavior. I was chosen to help lead Celebrate Recovery at Eastridge because of
my past with alcohol. Little did I know that my addictive behavior was still a
problem. Hebrews 13:4 says; “Marriage should be honored by all, and the
marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually
immoral.” I was convicted by that verse. My lustful thoughts were still
hindering my walk with God and my marriage. All leaders in Celebrate Recovery
are required to have completed a Step Study along with at least one full year
of sobriety. It was in that first Step Study that I gained the tools to allow God’s
Word to restore my sanity. Along the way, Christ has healed the wounds of my sinful
past and given me the strength to maintain sobriety from sexual sin, alcohol, and
I know that my sobriety came
through the miracle of God in my life. Today I celebrate my sobriety at an even
greater level because of the tools that I have gained through Celebrate
Recovery. Those tools include a daily H.E.A.R.T. check. Each day I determine
whether I’m Hurting, Exhausted, Angry, Resentful, or Tense. If I’m responsible
for any of those aspects, I immediately address my part of the problem and
accept the corresponding responsibility. I give God the stuff I cannot change
or have no control over. I thank God daily for bring Celebrate Recovery into my
life and blessing me beyond my wildest imagination!
Woman's Testimony I’m grateful believer of Jesus Christ that is recovery for a drug addiction.
When most people think of a drug addict they think of a dirty person with no home, no job, and no hope. That wasn’t me. I was the worst kind of addict. I was a functioning addict. I worked and went to school full time, took care of my 2 boys and I had even started going to church. From the outside, I just looked like a single mom trying to get her life together.
When my husband of 12 years left me in 2012 I was consumed by pain. My world was black and I needed an escape. I wished the pain would just stop. Be careful what you wish. My “light” out of the darkness was drugs; any drug. All it had to do was allow me to function but stop the pain. That’s exactly what it did. I couldn’t feel anything. I was numb and I loved it.
God always has a plan. Even before I was a believer he was working on me and my boys. I just didn’t see it. In December of 2012 my oldest son decided to be baptized. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why he wanted to do it but I wasn’t going to stand in his way. When I saw him come up out of the water, I cried. I had to find what he had.
I started reading books and talking to anyone who was willing. But I still couldn’t find the answers I needed. Then I got sick and needed surgery. When my doctor came in that room and said, “You need surgery but I won’t do it. I can’t work on an addict. Get clean or die. It’s up to you. I’ll see you in six weeks,” my world ended. I wasn’t going to leave my boys alone in the world.
Turns out that quitting drugs is hard. All I felt was the pain that I had been suppressing. I needed help. I couldn’t do it alone. That’s when I found Celebrate Recovery or CR. CR showed me that it was ok to be broken and in pain and that I wasn’t alone. They saw me for who I was not what I did. That is where I found the all answers I was looking for. That is where I found Christ’s love. I was baptized a few weeks later and had my surgery.
Through Christ, CR and my step study I have healed. I have a relationship with my savior that I never thought was possible. Is my life perfect? No. Do I have bad days? Yes, but I know that when I walk through the doors of CR on Friday nights I will be welcomed with love and acceptance. Now I am blessed and honored to be the ladies addiction and abuse open share leader.
Celebrate Recovery is for everyone. The lost soul seeking redemption or a seasoned believer it doesn’t matter. We will love you. Come as you are.